760-What worked for me and(hopefully)would work for you too!

Find out how Beat The GMAT members tackled GMAT test prep with positive results. Get tips on GMAT test prep materials, online courses, study tips, and more.
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I will not make this post long by outlining my journey rather I'll share some tids bits which I think will benefit my peers here. Before I do that, I must thank rishi raj, eternal_optimist and a few other members who have inspired and guided me and many others on this forum.God Bless you guys!
It's been more than 1.5 years since I came across Beatthegmat and though I started my preparation only 4 months ago, I think that BTG was instrumental as now and then I'd keep visiting the forum for my diet of inspiration and wisdom. Ayway, here are my thoughts for what they are worth

1. Always start with a Diagnostic test before you prepare : I think this is very important. When you have a diagnostic score, you have a benchmark from where you can take your preparation forward otherwise you will have no way of knowing how much progress you have made. I started with a 680(V-34, Q-48) so needed to work on Verbal more.
2. Study Material :
Before I started studying, I rated myself in each of the three verbal areas based on my performance on diagnostic tests. These were the scores I had given to me.
SC-4/10, CR-8/10 RC- 6/10
Sentence Correction was really a bummer for me. The day-to-day English which we use is a bit different from what is tested on the GMAT. For example, for a long time I couldn't digest the fact that "considered as" could be an incorrect idiom on the GMAT. Also it isn't very rare(or rather is very common) for us to say "He's the person that helped me" which is wrong on the GMAT. So learning the rules is important. For SC, nothing beats Aristotle SC Grail and Manhattan SC. Combine them with OG13 SC and you should be all set.
CR came quite intuitively to me and in fact, I loved doing CR questions as they were fun so didn't refer any book. Just practiced questions and learnt the strategies to tackle various question types.

On RC, I was neither very good nor not very bad. Doing well on RC is all about having the patience to read a passage and be interested in it. It's about developing mental stamina which I developed through practice. In all, I did around 55-60 passages in groups of 3-5 passages in a day from OG13 passages and Aristotle RC Practice sets. I never used the note taking method suggested my some test prep companies because it just diverted my attention from the passage.

Quant- I rated myself a 8/10 on Quant after the diagnostic test. All I needed was practice. I personally think that as good as it is for Verbal, OG13 disappoints bigtime on Quant. Only the last 50 questions in OG13 were good . The first 3/4th of the questions were too easy and unless you're not sailing in the 400-600 zone on the GMAT, you will not see them on the actual test. Manhattangmat's Advanced Quant Guide is a great book I think. After finishing this book and OG, I practiced questions from Aristotle PS Booster and DS Boosters which i think gave me the much needed practice.
3. Study Time- 4 months is more than sufficient. Initially, I had planned for 3 months but since I wanted to do well I thought it's better to wait for a month more and then take the exam
4. Practice Tests- I used only two sources- ManhattanGMAT tests and GMATPREP tests for practicing. I highly recommend taking the GMATPREPs twice. Do not get disheartened by the difficulty level of the MGMAT Quant sections; you will not see that difficult questions on the GMAT. However, I think that I gained a lot from analyzing such questions as you tend to build your concepts well.
5. Integrated Reasoning- Did not bother too much about this after most of the schools announced formally that they will ignore the IR scores this season. Maybe they'll consider it next year but I'm no way waiting for another year to apply to schools. It want to be entering an MBA program by Fall 2013. So instead of spending a lot of time on IR, I spent more time on Verbal and Quant.
6.Test day- Irrespective of what scores you have been getting on your practice exams, you will feel the pressure on the actual test. I tried taking the burden of performing off from my shoulders and I think this made a lot of difference. I thought to myself that my only focus will be to enjoy doing the questions as they appear on screen. GMAT is not anyway the end of life.

7. Luck - More often than not,we humans tend to attribute our success to ourselves-and forget to thank our luck. Though I got a 760, I may well have gotten a 730-740. So I must thank God for blessing with the fruits of my hardwork.

I think that it's time to grab a beer and take a much needed vacation. Finally, it's also the time when I'll reveal to my colleagues and boss in my office about my MBA plans. I, firstly, wanted to get a good score and then tell them about my plan instead of doing it the other way round.
Will be around for a while to take any questions. All the best to you all :)
Last edited by runthegmat on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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by WittyGritty » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:21 am
Hey, congrats on ur great achievement!

What are the sectional scores for Quant and Verbal?
How many practice tests did you take altogether and have you used the GMATPrep Question pack-1 for additional practice? Would be helpful if you can list down ur scores in practice tests...

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by runthegmat » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:58 am
WittyGritty wrote:Hey, congrats on ur great achievement!

What are the sectional scores for Quant and Verbal?
How many practice tests did you take altogether and have you used the GMATPrep Question pack-1 for additional practice? Would be helpful if you can list down ur scores in practice tests...
My scores are Q-50, V-44
I took a total of 9 practice tests. 5 MGMAT and 2 GMATPREPs taken twice. I had thought of purchasing the GMATPREP Question Pack-1 but based on the advice here i didn't go ahead with that because most of the question especially for maths are on the lower side of the difficulty level and there's no point in doing questions that you could anyway have done easily.
My practice test scores improved steadily. i remember after preparing for 3 months, when I took my first practice test, I was in a shock because i landed up with a 680, the same score that i had started with before i prepared. But with practice test, I improved and gradually started performing consistently after the 6th one.

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by shreerajp99 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:21 am
Congrats man! 760 is an awesome score.
Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Also,how much time did u spend to finish Manhattan advanced guide and what was ur strategy for the same?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj

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by neelgandham » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:32 am
Great score mate! Good luck with your apps.
and yes GMAT is not anyway the end of life. is the key!
Anil Gandham
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by Vixen » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:44 am
Congrats! Great debrief.. it has really motivated me.

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by runthegmat » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:47 am
shreerajp99 wrote:Congrats man! 760 is an awesome score.
Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Also,how much time did u spend to finish Manhattan advanced guide and what was ur strategy for the same?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj
Quant had a mixed bag of questions so you need to focus on all the areas. However, i remember there was only 1 probability question so if that is your weak area you may want to skip it.
I took around 1 month to finish the manhattangmat advanced guide but i was simultaneously working on other parts in verbal so that's why it look this long.
And yes the difficulty level of the actual exam was quite close to that of the GMATPREP.

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by shahir16 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:47 am
Congrats! How good were the Aristotle books for the Quant section? Were the problems reflective of the actual questions? What do you suggest as the best way to practice problems which books would be efficient? Thanks

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by Cumulonimbus » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:44 pm
Hi,
Thanks for the debrief and congratulation on great score.
From your post its clear that you were working for the duration u prepared for GMAT.
Can you give an idea how many hours per day are sufficient. I have a tendency that while practicing questions, to look for more details I tend to google stuff and go to some other sites/sources...for SC/CR etc. This has made my preparation speed very slow.
Will you recommend that I need to go through only Manhattan GMAT books/OG/Prep Test/Aristotle and that will be sufficient for GMAT, and I dont need to refer to other materials (atleast not extensively).
KR,

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by runthegmat » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:02 am
shahir16 wrote:Congrats! How good were the Aristotle books for the Quant section? Were the problems reflective of the actual questions? What do you suggest as the best way to practice problems which books would be efficient? Thanks
I think that the Aristotle PS and DS Boosters were quite good for practice. The best way to practice would be to take 10-20 questions at a time,solve them and then spend 2-3 hours in analyzing them. Even after getting a question correct, I would try to solve it later using one different method. That really pressured me to think but that's what your goal is-to make your mind agile enough that it is able to think of the best ways to solve questions.
Can you give an idea how many hours per day are sufficient. I have a tendency that while practicing questions, to look for more details I tend to google stuff and go to some other sites/sources...for SC/CR etc. This has made my preparation speed very slow.
Will you recommend that I need to go through only Manhattan GMAT books/OG/Prep Test/Aristotle and that will be sufficient for GMAT, and I dont need to refer to other materials (atleast not extensively).
Yes, you are right there is tons of free material available for GMAT but most of them is shoddy. Stick to the trusted ones only and you should be good to go!

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by deepalimittal26 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Enjoy!! Your article is really helpful. I started GMAT prep around 2 weeks back. As I am self studying, it is getting harder for me to plan to use right resources. Thought I have many resources e.g. lot of GMAT websites are there, forums and books, I get confuse and I am scare to say that I still feel that I have no proper plan. Would you like to suggest anything for that?

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by runthegmat » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:59 am
deepalimittal26 wrote:Enjoy!! Your article is really helpful. I started GMAT prep around 2 weeks back. As I am self studying, it is getting harder for me to plan to use right resources. Thought I have many resources e.g. lot of GMAT websites are there, forums and books, I get confuse and I am scare to say that I still feel that I have no proper plan. Would you like to suggest anything for that?
If you are facing difficulty how to proceed ahead, you may want to download this free ebook. It's really good and provides you a lot of insights into how to study etc
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by [email protected] » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:01 am
Thanks for the recap and Congrats!
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by runthegmat » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:03 pm
[email protected] wrote:Thanks for the recap and Congrats!
Thank you Jim! Appreciate it.

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by rishi raj » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:16 pm
Thanks for taking the time out and sharing your story with the community here. We appreciate it.